The Student News Site of Mililani High School

Trojan Times

The Student News Site of Mililani High School

Trojan Times

The Student News Site of Mililani High School

Trojan Times

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Mililani4Maui: Delivering Aid

Malia Kidani transported the pallets from the drive through Hui Mahi’ai ‘Aina Waimanalo alongside help from the Mayor of Maui’s wife.

In response to the recent Maui wildfires, various members of the Mililani community came together to arrange and participate in the Mililani4Maui Fundraiser Drive and donations. The Alumni Association and separate community members held a fundraising drive on Aug. 19, receiving donated goods and money to send over to Maui. The school officially accepted donations from Aug. 10 to 18.

“Hearing about the news of the fires on Maui was devastating. Some of my family lived in Lahaina and had to escape these fires, leaving behind their home,” said junior Maya McKeown, Treasurer of ASMHS (Associated Students of Mililani High School). “Knowing that the fires had destroyed not only some of my family’s homes, but also other people’s businesses and homes, launching Mililani4Maui was a great way to support those who were experiencing these losses.”

Planning for the movement began the starting week of school, with ASMHS immediately going to Principal Fred Murphy for approval on promoting and initiating the school’s drive. Although they were short on time and occupied with planning for the start of the year, the council successfully reached out and began taking action with MHS faculty and clubs to form the Mililani movement on the first day back.

“I think seeing all the media coverage surrounding the Maui fires was very eye-opening, especially since it was happening so close to home,” said ASMHS President and senior Jaden Kiese. “Actually seeing those getting impacted by the fires and how much devastation it caused was very heartbreaking and I think everyone here wanted to help in some sort of way which is why we started pushing for a donation drive.”

A number of different flyer designs were posted around campus and online in order to advertise the movement. The flyers ranged from eye-catching designs with fire to more subtle ones that emphasize Maui’s state color pink, combined with yellow to symbolize O‘ahu’s and Mililani’s support. Support and recovery postcards were made and sent to sister schools like Maui High, while new and like-new books were also collected at the library for families in Lahaina. For the first week and a half back, MHS was able to accept donations at the front office and at clubs since the school was given an Aloha Air Cargo plane to ship the donations to Maui.

“We gladly [accepted] and were happy to help,” said Leo Club President and senior Ava Donald.

When ASMHS contacted some of the service clubs inquiring if they could help, these clubs volunteered to be used as drop-off spots for donations, as well as encouraging club members and alumni to donate themselves. ASMHS collected the donations daily starting from the first week. Leo, Key, National Honor Society, Red Cross and Good Dogs Club all accepted donations, and after being contacted via email like Donald, some even posted flyers or posts on social media platforms to raise awareness.

“I thought it was cool because there are a lot of dogs and animals in Maui that also need care and attention because I wouldn’t want any of the animals taking supplies from the people, you know like food and shampoo,” said Good Dogs Club President and junior Diandra Thomson.

Not being a typical service club, Good Dogs Club wasn’t originally going to be asked. However, the decision was ultimately overturned and Club Advisor Christoper Sato was reached out to. Given the opportunity to join in on the efforts, Good Dogs Club opted to take a different approach from the other clubs. True to their name, they instead focused on collecting dog and animal-related supplies such as food, shampoo and other utilities. Yet like the others, they also served as a drop-off spot for regular canned goods and utilities.

“In the end, the amount of support and donations we were able to get was very astonishing and I was so overjoyed that our Trojan ‘Ohana was willing to give and show their support to those impacted,” said Kiese.

The community Mililani4Maui Fundraiser Drive was held on Aug. 19 in the school parking lot, managing to collect 38 pallets of donated food and supplies, as well as roughly $9,000. The lot was covered with the boxes, yet even after these shipments were sent off, the trend of boxes everywhere continued as more boxes appeared on the cafeteria stage. MHS collected 44 pallets of donated goods during the first week and a half due to limited shipments. Support continued during the following weeks and people continued to drop off donations at the office. MHS wasn’t able to send off these donations. However, local businesses like Aloha Pro Clean, Teapresso Wahiawa and UFC Mililani were also shipping out donations, so in collaboration with them, the surplus of donations was successfully shipped through Hawai‘i Stevedors Inc.

“It was really important from a student perspective, to consider just how much of an impact the fire had on families and students just like us. We all had to take a step back, think about the big picture and use that to find ways to help,” said ASMHS Recording Secretary and junior Verity Wayne. “Though our own project was called Mililani4Maui, it was genuinely a community effort from our schools, district representatives and community members who made everything possible.”

Mililani4Maui was not just done by the school, but together with the community. Members of the community such as Windward Economic Delivering Group vice president and class of 1992 alumni Malia Kidani reached out to Murphy in order to use the school name while hosting the drive on Aug. 19. This also wouldn’t have been possible without help from the Windward Economic Delivering Group, Senator Michelle Kidani, Senator Donovan Dela Cruz, the Mililani High School Alumni Association and Plan B Printing.

“[It’s] really just about putting yourself in someone else’s shoes and knowing like there’s not a lot we can do but at the same time together we can do a lot,” said Student Activities Coordinator Janet Ward-Riehle.

Malia Kidani also sold Mililani4Maui shirts with the help of class of 1998 alumni and owner of Plan B Printing Johnny Gima, who designed and printed each shirt sold at Malia Kidani’s drive and the St. Louis game. With over 650 shirts sold, over $6,500 was raised, not accounting for future sales.

For more information contact Ward-Riehle in B105 or at [email protected].

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